Alabama Football: Tide’s report card in SEC Championship

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football’s report card in the SEC Championship

Offensive Line: A-

Alabama football needed an elite performance from its offensive line against its toughest opponent. Georgia has the best defensive front in college football, and the Tide needed to give Bryce Young enough time to scan the field.

In this game, Alabama brought its best performance imaginable. Despite new starters on the line, the Tide stepped up against the biggest test of the year.

Now, Alabama did a better job of scheming around the line. There were more outside plays and quick screens. Young also did a better job of scrambling when plays broke down. Still, Young had enough time to throw the deep ball. This grade is slightly on a curve because of the Tide’s struggles earlier this year, but they still stepped it up.

Defensive Line: B+

All season, the defensive line has been one of Alabama football’s strengths. The Tide have rotated bodies to stop the run and attack the quarterback from the interior. Phil Mathis has been underrated all year, and the depth behind him has carried the Tide.

Stopping Georgia’s run game was a key for an upset this weekend. That falls mostly on the defensive line. It wasn’t perfect, but the Tide kept Georgia from dictating the trenches in this game. That put pressure on Stetson Bennett, and he was unable to deliver in the biggest moments of the game.

Alabama executed the plan splendidly. Not everything was perfect, but that kind of play is what Alabama football needed. We’re not going to split hairs in this one.